Thursday, July 06, 2006


Walking the Dog

It's been awhile since I last posted on this blog. Part of the reason is a series of home-related mini-crises involving the computer, the toilet, the kitchen light fixture and the furnace. The other part of the reason is that my wife Cheryl took a ten-trip to Italy leaving me to take care of Oreo and my daughter Sarah.

Cheryl got back last night and I was relieved to hand the leash back to her. As I reported, Oreo was fine for the ten days but Sarah wouldn't stop licking my legs and digging up the garden. Or was it the other way around?

For someone who was a reluctant dog owner, Cheryl's absence was a challenge. Although I had taken Oreo for the odd walk, for ten days I was the only one walking him, feeding him and cleaning up after him. The happy ending to this story would be me expressing the revelation that I loved walking Oreo and that he's the best darned dog in the whole wide world.

The actual ending to this story is that I still cannot fathom why people own dogs. Admittedly, walking Oreo was not as bad as I thought it would be. Walking him twice a day forced me to get some exercise and to even occasionally socialize with neighbors I met on our route.

But the mindless routine of feeding, walking and cleaning up after a canine did nothing for my spirit except underscore my longing for Cheryl's return. Having a dog seems like a never ending sentence to servitude. The tail wagging and enthusiastic greetings are hardly sufficient payback for all the work. If a dog is man's best friend, it's because the dog has one sweet deal.

In fairness, Oreo is still not much more than a year old. In dog years, he's probably a teenager which means we had no more chance of getting along than a 56-year old father would with a teenaged son.

I have not written off my relationship with Oreo yet. As we both age, there's still hope that we will come to some mutually satisfactory arrangement that may result in something resembling a friendship. Stay tuned.

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